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Lottery Names Raffle Winners After Sluggish Sales

Posted December 27, 2007
Updated December 28, 2007

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— North Carolina lottery officials pulled four $1 million tickets Thursday in the lottery's second raffle game this year.

The winning "Merry Millionaire Raffle" numbers are as follows

  • 214953
  • 138405
  • 276495
  • 206355

The five $100,000 winning numbers are as follows:

  • 223999
  • 015119
  • 178297
  • 026748
  • 021665

Eight prizes of $5,000 each, 500 prizes of $1,000 each and 2,000 prizes of $100 each also were awarded in the raffle. Those winning numbers were expected to be posted on the lottery Web site by 9 p.m. Thursday.

Unlike the lottery's first raffle in July, which sold out, about a quarter of the 500,000 Merry Millionaire tickets went unsold. Although that increased the chances of winning for players, it meant about $2.5 million less revenue for the lottery – and state schools – and prompted criticism from lottery opponents.

The raffle promised more winners than the "Sizzlin' Millionaire" game last summer. But some people blamed the $20 price of the raffle tickets for the lack of sales, while others noted the raffle had 11 fewer sales days than the game last summer.

"The real lessons will be learned through trial and error," lottery director Tom Shaheen said.

Shaheen said promoting the lottery with no more than 1 percent of sales is difficult.

"We're able to get some advertising with restrictions, and we work within these guidelines," he said.

JoAnn Dryman, an assistant manager at a Raleigh convenience store that sells lottery tickets, said more frequent payouts, which the lottery now promises, will provide the needed promotion to build sales.

"It's still better across the state line," Dryman said. "It could be better (in North Carolina), but I think he has made a step toward the right direction."

Shaheen said the raffle would still generate more than $1 million for education, and despite the lottery's continuing struggles to meet expectations, he chooses to answer his critics with the lottery's successes.

"They've got a number out there and that's all they're focused on, and if you don't hit that number, you're a failure," he said. "Go tell those 32,000 kids that are on those scholarships that this lottery's a failure, and I will bet you the 32,000 will say it isn't."


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  • zProt Dec 29, 2007

    "momof2, I sympathize, but did you expect any difference? School funding was never increased because of the lottery, it just shifted the source of the school funding that already existed. I really don't understand what people were expecting."

    It is unfortunate, but I understand this to in fact be the case. The propaganda for the lottery was intentionally misleading. Eventually, it'll be like the money was never there to begin with. Or, like our fine Pentagon does with their budget, they won't be able to account for all of it.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 28, 2007

    The lottery doesn't bring in additional money for education. It allows the legislature to take tax money from education and use for failed socialist programs including "more at four".

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Dec 28, 2007

    The problem with the North Carolina lottery is that the more educated citizens don't play. With the high percentage of college graduates in the Triad, the Triangle, and Charlotte, these large metropolitan areas have low lottery participation.

    Those who play the lottery have no concept of math and statistics. As they say, a fool and his money are soon parted.

    The lottery was passed through questionable actions by the convicted felon Jim Black. The lottery should be suspended put back in front of the house and senate to be voted on again due to the questionable vote that authorized the lottery.

    On the other hand, we can be patient and let the lottery die of natural causes and atrophy due to low participation.

  • NC is my home Dec 28, 2007

    The lottery is a disgrace. It teaches some very bad lessons that should not be a part of NC Education. Get rid of it!

    Hopefully, all the future sales will be slower & slower. This is not something of which most North Carolinians are proud.

  • TruthBKnown Dec 28, 2007

    Without the lottery, X amount of tax dollars went to education. Say the lottery also brings in X amount of dollars. We are putting the lottery dollars (X amount) toward education, and the original X amount of tax (not lottery) dollars went elsewhere.

    This is not an "education lottery". That's the big lie in all this. It's a shell game.

  • JessGH Dec 28, 2007

    "Sluggish sales", less-than-projected sales, call it whatever you want, it just means people elected not to buy these tickets and that is not cause for alarm. It also means that people are smarter in NC than they expected. Lotteries are a tax on the poor as well as a bait-and-switch scam. My husband works in public schools, and he sure hasn't seen this mythical influx of cash the lottery officials keep talking about and promising. I would love to see a list of what actually has been provided to the schools in addition to their regular budget.

  • TruthBKnown Dec 28, 2007

    "Admiral, I think you have that backwards. It's the bible thumping self-righteous crowd that is against the lottery, not the Dems".

    And it's not just Bible-thumpers, either. A LOT of people are opposed to lotteries. Gambling is addictive and serving up peoples' addictions should not be something our government is involved in. Regulate it and tax it all you want. But don't PROVIDE it.

  • UNC Doc Dec 28, 2007

    "Admiral, I think you have that backwards. It's the bible thumping self-righteous crowd that is against the lottery, not the Dems".

    Yup. And the Dems are the party of the stupid, the gullible, the irresponsible, those who need instant gratification, and the lazy. Of course they are for the lottery. Plus, it's more money "for the children" (the biggest lie of all).

  • nosmo_king58 Dec 28, 2007

    Instead of a lottery, NC should legalize casinos. It would generate far more tax revenue (assuming the Indians don't get it first). The intersection of I-40 & I-95 is an ideal location. The closest competition is Atlantic City, Tunica or Biloxi, each is an 8+ hour drive. (The one in Cherokee doesn't count). There was a recent article in the N&O on how casinos have been a boom for Tunica.

  • batcave Dec 28, 2007

    and who was it that got rid of video poker? Brother Easley the head DEM, read a book man. Casinos mean jobs and a ral chance to win lottery is a sucker bet, and the nc lotto is a dismal failure.